GERARD Gaskin’s name didn’t trend on Twitter this week. That’s something. In Louise Milligan’s Australia, even a falsely maligned Catholic expects contumely on a gossamer pretext. Dr Gaskin is executive director of Catholic Education Tasmania and a father of seven. For many years a school principal and formerly Director of Religious Education in the Wagga Wagga diocese (considered an epicentre of orthodoxy), the accomplished educator and scholar has also lectured in catechesis at Vianney College seminary. For cafeteria ‘catholics’, his résumé is the stuff of which conniptions are made. In the midst of continuing ructions about women in oestrogen-crazed Canberra having been ‘assaulted’, a charge of “inappropriate behaviour” against Dr Gaskin was reported in the media on Monday. In company, he greeted two women with hugs at a CET conference in Campbell Town late last year. Neither woman complained. It isn’t known who did. Anyway, the Archdiocese of Hobart commissioned an independent investigation that found Dr Gaskin had “no case to answer.” These days, informants are afforded privacy; the exonerated, publicity.
Here’s something apposite that is known; in fact, this is the journalistic angle in reports about the victim-by-proxy doxxing of Dr Gaskin: only the Concerned Catholics of Tasmania are publicising a demand for another investigation. This time, in the words of CCT chairman, Sue Chen, “to identify the nature of the current culture and the source of tensions” within Catholic Education Tasmania. No charity, note, but only calumny in service to politics. The Concerned Catholics have branches in Canberra, Wollongong and Wagga and are affiliates of the so-called Australasian Catholic Coalition For Church Reform. What concerns these ‘concerned’ reformers is that the Church in Australia has not sufficiently capitulated to secular fashions. They want priestesses, gay ‘marriage’, an animistic and climate-preoccupied theology, Aboriginalised liturgy, lay-preaching at Mass and a democratic governance structure to overrule the bishops. None of the groups has any official status within the Church. Essentially, they are the Greens at prayer and heresy-curious to boot. Their most reliable facilitator, of course, is the ABC which sells them as mainstream goodies over against the baddies of the hierarchy. The reality, however – as this picture at its launch in 2020 demonstrates – is that the CCT is a pastime for people old enough to be better than vicious.